Situated on a bustling canal lined with teak storefronts opening onto the water, Amphawa Floating Market comes alive each afternoon as Thai locals come to shop or grab a bite from one of many boats-cum-floating restaurants. While smaller than the more famous Damnoen Saduak, this floating market offers a more authentic experience.
One of the best ways to explore the market and its surrounding canals is aboard traditional long-tail wooden boats. A typical cruise on the Mae Klong river (Mae Khlong river) and through the market takes visitors past several of the area’s Thai Buddhist temples, and can be combined with a visit to a local zoo, the nearby Maeklong Railway Market, or the chance to watch fireflies light up the riverbanks at dusk. The Amphawa Floating Market is a popular place not only for shopping, but for eating too, with waterside seating providing the ideal setting for a lazy lunch. Thai food such as dried pork, shrimp, shellfish, and crab are all prepared and cooked aboard the boats before being handed up to diners on the elevated banks on both sides of the river.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Amphawa Floating Market is a must-do for travelers looking to get off the beaten path.
- Don’t forget to bring cash in small denominations if you plan to shop or eat at the market.
- Visit the market on a half- or full-day tour from Hua Hin.
- Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and drinking water.
How to Get There
Minibuses run between Victory Monument in Bangkok and Amphawa throughout the day, but the most convenient way to visit is as part of a guided tour with return transportation included.
When to Get There
The Amphawa Floating Market is at its liveliest in the afternoon, beginning around 1pm. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, you can still get a sense of what the market is like in the morning, though not everything will be open.
Wat Bang Kung
Many visitors to the floating market overlook the area’s many interesting temples, most notably Wat Bang Kung. This Buddhist temple just a stone’s throw from the banks of the Mae Klong river (Mae Khlong river) sits ensconced within a banyan tree, making it particularly serene and photogenic. Some boat tours of the market also include a stop at the temple.